About Henry Benjamin "Hank" Greenberg
Henry Benjamin "Hank" Greenberg, nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank," was an American professional baseball player in the 1930s and 1940s.
A first baseman primarily for the Detroit Tigers, Greenberg was one of the premier power hitters of his generation. He hit 58 home runs in 1938, equalling Jimmie Foxx's 1932 mark for the most home runs in one season by any player between 1927 (when Babe Ruth set a record of 60) and 1961 (when Roger Maris surpassed it). Greenberg was a five-time All-Star, was twice named the American League's Most Valuable Player, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1956.
Greenberg was the first Jewish superstar in American professional sports. He attracted national attention in 1934 when he refused to play baseball on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, even though the Tigers were in the middle of a pennant race.
- American League Most Valuable Player, 1935 and 1940.
- American League All-Star team, 1937-1940.
- First Jewish player elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1956. He garnered 85% of the votes. Joe Cronin was also elected that year.
- In 1983, the Tigers celebrated "Greenberg-Gehringer Day" at Tiger Stadium, honoring Greenberg with the retirement of his uniform number 5 and former teammate Charlie Gehringer with the retirement of his number 2. Both players were on hand for the ceremony.
- In 1999, despite injuries and wartime service that essentially limited him to half a career, he ranked Number 37 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
- Member of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1996).
- Member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (1979).
- Member of the Jewish American Hall of Fame (1991)